You have seen: if someone spits on the national flag it will cause a fight, it will result in bloodshed, it can cause a war. “He spat on the national flag!” But have you ever thought that the national flag is a symbol of the nation and you spit on the nation every day, but nobody starts fighting? Nobody starts a fight if you spit on the earth. Whenever you spit you are spitting on the nation – wherever you spit. Nobody starts a fight if you spit on the nation. The symbol of the nation, merely an indication, just an ordinary piece of cloth…but if someone spits on it then even war can happen.
Man gives great importance to symbols – more importance than they have. In his blindness man lives in symbols.
When Krishna uses the word “I” it is only practical. He has to speak so he uses it. He wants to communicate so he uses it. But after speaking there is no “I.” If you look into Krishna’s eyes you will not find any “I,” there is only ultimate silence, only emptiness. The “I” has disappeared. This is why Krishna can easily say, “Come, come to my feet!” When he says to come to his feet, we feel it is very egotistical, because we interpret “I” as we know it.
These words of Janak will surprise you even more. These statements are unique on this earth. Krishna had at least said, “Come to my feet.” These assertions of Janak are such that you will not believe them.
Janak says in them, “Amazing, my nature! Amazing, my light! Surprising! What am I? I go to my own feet! I bow down to myself!” It will shock you.
In these statements Janak bows down to himself; the other no longer remains. He says again and again, Amazing am I, I bow down to myself. I am eternal. “I am so filled with awe, I myself am in wonder. I bow down to myself, because all will perish, but still I will remain. From Brahma to the smallest atoms all will be destroyed, but still I will remain. I bow down to myself. Who is as capable as me? I am in the world and yet unattached”…in the water like a lotus leaf. “I bow down to myself.”
Mankind has never heard such a declaration: “I bow down to my very self.” You will think, “This is the ultimate egotism. It would be all right if he said it to others, but he is touching his own feet…!”
It is said about Ramakrishna that an artist came and painted his portrait. When he brought the completed portrait, the devotees of Ramakrishna felt very strange because Ramakrishna looked at the picture and started to touch the feet in it. It was his own picture, and he began to bow down to it. A devotee said, “Paramahansa, are you going mad? This is your own picture.”
Ramakrishna said, “It’s good you reminded me – I was seeing a picture of samadhi. It must have been painted while I was in samadhi. It’s good you remind me, otherwise people will think I am crazy. I was just starting to pay my respects to samadhi. This is a picture of samadhi, not of me.” But those who saw it must have thought that the man had gone mad. Touching the feet of his own picture! Bowing his head to his own picture! What can be more insane? “This is the last word in egotism, there can be no heights of ego beyond this.”